Showing posts from March, 2010

Yin & yang

My time in the red centre was drawing to a close, but I still had a jam-packed day ahead of me.  There was only one trail that was left undone at Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park: Warlpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta.  I was secretly relieved that it was a short trail since my ankles, feet & toes had not yet fully recovered from the past two grueling days of hiking.

Since it was late morning, the high rock walls blocked all of the intense sunlight.  As soon as I stepped into the shadows I was cold.  Furthermore, the rock sides became more and more narrow which created a vortex for the winter wind.  I watched as puddles from the previous night were disturbed; their surfaces turbulent instead of glass smooth.  I put my hood over my head and cinched it tight.  In addition to the dim light and chilly temperature, I was the only person in the gorge.  It was silent except for the howling wind.  No birds chirped; no visitors spoke.  It was a bit haunting, yet peaceful.  I half sat/half leaned agains…

Feel the burn

Hiking The Valley Of The Winds backwards meant better views of the scenery and more uphill climbs.  When I arrived at the foot of the circuit's climax -- a massive, rocky mound -- my back was drenched in sweat.  I cannot recall a time I have ever been so wet with perspiration.
When I finally summited the hill, I plopped down on the nearest crag.  I was greeted by a gay couple from Sydney (originally from Poland) who witnessed my exhausting ascent.  They explained they rode from New South Wales on motorcycles.  The three of us reminisced about our respective homelands.  The couple highly recommended a natural hot spring (larger than a swimming pool) in between the park & Kulgarra (to the west) which, after my grueling hike, sounded so relaxing.  I noticed some gorgeous birds & beautiful plant life on the return walk to my vehicle.  It turned out, even in the middle of the desert, life and color flourished -- although humans often were not able see it.  The first thing I di…

Blazing trails

It did not drizzle all night -- it poured!  At times the raindrops pelted the car's metal roof so hard it was difficult to get back to sleep.
When my alarm went off at 5:45am I peeled myself out of the toasty sleeping bag. My first night in Uluru I had to cover my face I was so cold.  Why was I sweating?  Still sheltered in the car's warmth I laced up my Columbias.  I prepared myself for the pre-dawn chill as I opened the car door.  Why was it humid outside?  Again, it was the coldest month of winter.  Why did it feel like an Ohio summer?

The clouds that harbored the raindrops of yesterday & yesternight also sealed in the warmth radiating from the red earth.  I couldn't believe the temperature difference!
Blurry-eyed, I turned onto the Lasseter Highway again.  This dark morning I was headed for The Olgas (their non-politically correct name).  A third of the way into the drive, I passed a road sign that stated it was only 200 kilometers to the state of Western Australi…